The UK government must protect environmental standards in new trade deals

Published on October 28, 2021

We need to force the UK government to protect environmental and animal welfare standards in post-Brexit trade deals before it is too late, writes European Movement CEO Anna Bird.

The government is putting the UK’s food, farming and environmental standards under threat in new trade deals. And we say enough is enough. 

New trade agreements threaten to undercut British farmers and export ecological damage elsewhere in the world, unless the government takes urgent action to ban food produced to low standards. 

As world leaders prepare to meet in Glasgow for the COP26 climate conferencewe are launching a campaign to make sure British environmental and animal welfare standards aren’t sacrificed in new trade deals. 

We will not accept food produced to low environmental and animal welfare standards in the UK.

We’ve raised the alarm before, but now it is crunch time. 

The government has already reached new trade agreements in principle with Australia and New Zealand. And we have heard nothing about how UK environmental standards will be protected. 

Australia is notoriously poor on taking action on climate change. It allows the use of artificial growth hormones in cattle, the dangerous overuse of antibiotics in farming, and even ‘mulesing’ - the removal of some of a sheep’s skin while it is alive. 

Food produced this way will end up on our plates, unless we take urgent action.

MPs will soon be presented with the full details of these new deals and asked to vote on them. We need to make sure they vote for to include protections on environmental and animal welfare standards. 

We know that we can have a real impact. After the by-election in Chesham & Amersham earlier this year, Conservative MPs are looking over their shoulder and know they cannot take their voters for granted. 

Not only that, but as it hosts COP26 in Glasgow the UK government’s reputation for acting green is already under intense criticism. Conservative MPs don’t want a new scandal to deal with. 

We need to build up momentum and force the UK government to protect environmental and animal welfare standards in post-Brexit trade deals – before it is too late.

If you agree, please sign and share our urgent petition. You can sign it by clicking here.

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